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The town of Luisiana in Laguna is a fourth class municipality with a population of 19,255 (according to the 2007 census). Luisiana sits atop the Sierra Madre mountain; as such, the town is known as the "Little Baguio of Laguna" due to its high elevation and cool climate. The yearly average temperature in Luisiana is about 22.5 °C (72.5 °F).
Historical note: the old Luisiana was a place called Ibabang Nasunog or Burnt Lowland because ashes used to cover the terrain of the village. Volcanologists were able to find out that the town lies on top of lahar and is composed of pyroclastic materials from a volcanic eruption. On the other hand, Luisiana was named after the town's founder, Don Luis Bernardo and his wife Ana - "Luis y Ana" and was later known as Luisiana.
At the town center in Luisiana, there are a few establishments and businesses that provide basic services to the people. Consequently, the people of the town still have to go to Santa Crúz, the provincial capital of Laguna, in order to avail of other services (medical, social, shopping, etc.). Luisiana is an agricultural town and its most important crop is pandan (genus Pandanus). Pandan plants that are almost as tall as trees abound in Luisiana. By using pandan leaves, the town residents are able to express their creativity by making various handicrafts such as bags, mats, and slippers. Click here to view the fine pandan handicrafts of Luisiana. The Pandan Festival is held annually in honor of the crop that is very significant to the lives of the people. This sign/banner was posted in one of the homes in Luisiana (during the Pandan Festival) as a testament to pandan's role in people's lives:
The One Town One Product (OTOP) showroom in Luisiana is located at the town center; the various products created from pandan are sold here. We bought a pandan hat for PhP 55; pandan bag for PhP 250 and a cowboy hat for PhP 150. We also wanted to buy a pandan mat but it was expensive - PhP 450 for a double-sized mat so we did not buy it.
In my experience, there are more pandan products for sale and display during the ANILAG Festival usually held in the month of April at the Laguna Provincial Capitol in Santa Cruz Laguna (more details about this festival in my coming post). Here are some photos of the products at the OTOP center:
You may also want to see the pandan products during the ANILAG Festival by clicking here.
Some photos of Luisiana town:
Luisiana Church: Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish and Liceo de Luisiana school
Luisiana Park: The park was very clean and well-maintained. We were able to rest here and appreciate the peaceful town center. At the park, there was an interesting structure that amazed the kids:
A preview of the Pandan Festival: